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Feature Article of Saturday, 22 December 2012

Columnist: Abugri, George Sydney

Our security worry and going to war against Ghanaweb

By George Sydney Abugri

Jomo, what do you make, of this lead paragraph of a news report on Tuesday morning which read as follows: “Supporters of the NPP are to hit the streets of the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi this morning to protest the alleged discrimination against residents of the Ashanti region by the Electoral Commission in the just ended general elections”?

You do not need to hold a doctorate degree in critical linguistics to be able to detect that attention and public focus have been craftily and surreptitiously shifted from the issue of the NPP’s disputation of the results of the 2012 presidential election to a purported official conspiracy against the people of the Ashanti Region and by deductive implication, one particular ethnic group!

The reference to “residents of Ashanti’ has been made to obscure this fact. That is what I call playing with fire and as any Yankee firemen will tell you, “Old Smokey’s friends don’t play with matches” where Smokey is not the cartoon bear used for anti-forest fire campaigns in the US but represents peace.

War drums are not beating, at least not yet, but I hear what sounds like muffled thumps and there is tension in the air following the NPP disputation of the presidential election results, which blights Christmas here, somewhat.

By noon of Tuesday, as the aforementioned protest continued in Kumasi, the same news source updated the public with a report that “Protestors in Kumasi are declaring the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party winner of the just ended 2012 polls.” Surely all journalists know full well, that it only the Electoral Commissioner, who declares winners at national elections, is what I muttered to myself.

If there is farther reason for disquiet, it is that bit in news reports about the evidence of rigging being so conclusive and shocking, that the Supreme Court will have no option than to nullify the results and declare Akufo-Addo winner and president-elect! The implication of the statement in the event of a Supreme Court ruling that does not favour the litigating party is uncertain but it certainly adds to the apprehension, no?

The Kumasi protests were preceded by protests in Accra and it is unclear yet why the protests are going, on since the NPP leadership has said it is proceeding to court to contest the presidential election results in keeping with the provisions of the constitution for resolving electoral disputes.

The republic is certainly waiting with bated breath and in latent suspense to hear the NPP’s proof of rigging at the Supreme Court. What we need do now to avoid political instability is to stick to the truth like fresh camp and maintain absolute peace every step of the way until the dispute is peacefully resolves, yah?

There is something else bothering me, Jomo: If there is one often little-considered potential threat to Ghanaian’s right to freedom of expression, the dissemination of truthful information to Ghanaians and ultimately, the nation’s peace and unity, it is the army of unbelievably very abusive cyber terrorists on Ghanaweb: From behind the anonymity of PCs and lap tops, these creeps have subjected Ghana’s political leaders, academics, scholars, clergy, traditional rulers and senior citizens old enough to be their grandparents, to vile and sordid abuse for expressing their views and opinions on matters of state, governance and events in the country. The favourite insults of the grand bullies of virtual space, are “idiot”, “stupid”, “fool”, “baboon”, “monkey”, “useless” etc, with generous doses of ethnocentrically-motivated hate messages thrown in for good measure. And to think, Jomo, that when some of us began expressing our views in various publications, their parents were still crawling around on all fours on the floor of grandma’s kitchen going, mmgaa, mmgaa, mmgaa for breast milk.

Nah! I am beside myself with great grief, old chap: When was I climbing the steep and bushy hillsides of Agol-zuos near Bawku in the Upper East Region, the advent of the computer in our republic was still more than half a century away. Today, a generation so privileged to have grown up in the era of the computer and creation’s most profound and human history-changing technological invention, is abusing this great gift of providence. Many years ago, Jomo, I went to this pub and restaurant for a bite, see? There was this flamboyant young man seated at a table with a pretty young lady eating fufu and drinking beer. The bloke kept knocking back the booze as if there were no way tomorrow would come. Then it happened:

He suddenly heaved and threw up lumps of fufu and squirts of beer all over the poor young lady and her smashing dress. “Charlie, these are the people who spoil the good name of drink”, one of two hustlers sharing a single bottle of Club beer whispered to the other.

That is what the creeps who are misusing Ghanaweb are doing: Puking up sordid filth all over the greatest and most beautiful technologies of all time, which is changing human history most dramatically.

When they sniff at a news item or opinion expressed on Ghanaweb and it smells wholesome, they promptly ignore it and lope off, panting with misguided partisan political bigotry and open mouths bearing lolling, salivating tongues and murderous teeth, looking for someone with opposing views to sink them into.

When they sniff an article on a general theme and there is so much as a letter of the alphabet that smells like a political opinion, they bite acidic venom:

They show a total and screaming disinterest in anything that has nothing to do with partisan politics and that can present them with an opportunity to insult and denigrate someone. By contrast, they swarm in a massive cluster abusive comments around any article or news item discussing or reporting a political issue like an army of red ants around something from the refuse bin.

A well researched and useful article on disease control, health and wellness, agriculture, economics or religion stays on Ghanaweb all millennium and they do not post a single comment. Someone posts an article on a partisan political issue and 650 of them post a streaming hail of insults-ridden and abusive comments in 25 minuets flat.

You wonder where they get their bread from each time they eat, since if you track them you notice that from morning till late night, they sit behind computers dutifully posting insults and hate messages and quickly changing their monikers on the sneaky go. Poor Francis Akoto. What will he do now? What will you do now, Frank?

Whether you are out in the Diaspora or Ghana, keep an eye out, Jomo: If you notice a fellow with a rabid countenance and a mischievous partisan political glint in his eye, seated behind a laptop or PC all day scratching his balls and farting while posting insults determinedly away, that is the chap, alright! Grab him by the scruff of the neck. www.sydneyabugri.com/web editing@sydneyabugri.com georgeabu@hotmail.com

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